Friday, July 8, 2011

Steamed Tofu with Minced Pork

Tofu is made by coagulating soy milk and then pressing the resulting curds into moulds which are allowed to drain. The curds will stick together, producing soft white blocks. The process of making tofu is similar to cheese making.

There are two main kinds of tofu, silken/soft tofu, and firm/regular tofu. Both can be found in soft, medium, firm and extra firm consistencies. They are made from the same ingredients, but the curds are processed differently depending on the form of tofu that is being manufactured.

Silken tofu contains the highest moisture content and is curdled directly into the tofu’s selling package. For firm tofu, the curd is cut and strained of excess liquid using muslin and then lightly pressed to produce a soft cake. Firmer tofu is further pressed to remove more liquid. 

Choosing the right type of tofu is important for cooking. Firmer tofu will hold its shape when handled so it is the best form to use in a stir-fry while silken tofu breaks up easily and can be used in dessert dishes.

I used silken tofu silken for this dish as it was just put on a plate and steamed, and was not cooked in a way that would make it break apart. I love the melt in your mouth custard like texture of silken tofu and it’s great with some mince pork on top. The pork mixture provides flavour and a textual contrast.


Block of silken tofu 
Olive oil
100g mince pork (seasoned with a little salt, white pepper, fish sauce and oyster sauce)
1 shiitake mushroom, reconstituted and finely diced
2 sprig spring onion - white part only, finely diced
2 garlic cloves, crushed
½ teaspoon grated ginger
pinch of salt, white pepper, sugar - to taste
1 teaspoon light soy sauce
½ teaspoon fish sauce
½ tablespoon oyster sauce
1 tablespoon Shaoxing rice wine
1 – 1 ½ cup chicken stock 
1-2 teaspoons cornflour
garnish – chopped spring onion and coriander

(Diced shiitake mushrooms)


Season the minced pork with a little salt, white pepper, fish sauce, oyster sauce and mix together well. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Steam the block of silken tofu for 8 minutes on low heat. 

While the tofu is steaming, make the sauce. Heat a frying pan with a little olive oil. Add in the crush garlic, grated ginger, finely diced white part of the spring onion and fry for 1 minute until fragrant. Then add in the mince pork and fry until golden brown making sure that you break up any clumps. Then add in the shiitake mushrooms and fry until the mushrooms have browned. Add in some salt, white pepper, sugar, light soy sauce, oyster sauce, fish sauce and fry for a few minutes. Then deglaze with Shaoxing wine. Add in the stock and simmer for a few minutes and then thicken the mixture with the cornflour mixed with a little water.

When the tofu has finished steaming, discard the excess water before spooning on top of the tofu the mince pork sauce mixture and garnish with some spring onions and coriander.

Here are some of my other tofu recipes:


  1. Wow. That looks really good. Light but a substantial meal. I bet it tastes amazing :)

  2. Thanks Monica. Using silken tofu makes it very light. I think I could eat 10 blocks of it!

  3. Oh wow, the divinity of silkiness with the hearty mince pork.
    This is what I call 'real' 'home' food. I could just (and actually have) eat this every day. Hot tofu and mince on hot pungent rice, divine!

  4. Hi, love this recipe. However, I was wondering if you can do a short blog about HOW TO STEAM (simplest method please)? I am at a complete loss about how to steam and have to forego recipes that require steaming :(


  5. Thanks Rita :)

    I have quite a few recipes that require steaming.

    My Chinese style steamed fish post goes into a bit more detail and describes my set up for steaming - I use a large pot with a steaming basket

    It's simple - just bring the pot of water to boil with the steaming basket inside and then put the plate in and steam for the amount of time specified in the recipe on the correct heat level. Most will say steam on low heat so after bringing the pot to the boil on high heat, turn the heat down for steaming.

    I will work on a blog post but in the meantime feel free to ask me questions, you can email me as well

  6. Wow! So delicious. Love how simple and easy the dish is to make. Wanted to let you know that we have included this dish in our food duels on Knapkins. Looking forward to seeing more scrumptious dishes from you...



    PS: Mini typo? Shiitake :)

  7. Thanks Christine. Haha yes I have been spelling shiitake wrong! Will fix it up :)

  8. Just tried your recipe and it turned out great. Didn't use any chicken stock though coz didn't have any on hand. Modified a little by adding sliced onions (I simple love onions). Thanks for sharing the recipe.

    1. Thanks for your comment Shenna :) Glad that it turned out well and I also alter the pork mixture ingredients depending on what I have in my kitchen. Chicken stock isn't necessary, just water will be fine.

  9. Tried your recipe this week and it turned out yummy! Thanks for it :)